Background: Despite the suggestion that the inflammatory response in traumatized children is functionally unique, prognostic markers predicting pediatric multiple organ failure are lacking. We intended to verify whether Interleukin-6 (IL-6) displays a pivotal role in pediatric trauma similar to adults. Methods: Traumatized children less than 18 years of age with an Injury Severity Score >9 points and consecutive admission to the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit were included. Organ function was evaluated according to the score by Marshall et al. while IL-6 levels were measured repetitively every morning. Results: 59 traumatized children were included (8.4 ± 4.4 years; 57.6% male gender). Incidence of MODS was 11.9%. No differences were found referring to age, gender, injury distribution or overall injury severity between children with and without MODS. Increased IL-6 levels during hospital admission were associated with injury severity (Spearman correlation: r = 0.522, p < 0.001), while an inconsistent association towards the development of MODS was proven at that time point (Spearman correlation: r = 0.180, p = 0.231; Pearson's correlation: r = 0.297, p = 0.045). However, increased IL-6 levels during the first two days were no longer associated with the injury severity but a significant correlation to MODS was measured. Conclusions: The presented prospective study is the first providing evidence for a correlation of IL-6 levels with injury severity and the incidence of MODS in traumatized children.
JournaltitleScandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine